Thank you all for the happy thoughts you sent my way after last week’s whiny post. A weekend of sunshine did me good and I’m feeling like myself again.
On top of that, Owen’s little fever turned out to be nothing and he seems to have emerged from whatever it was that was causing him to act like a little monster last week. I don’t know if it was a bug he was fighting or lack of sleep due to being excited about his bed or what, but I’m just thankful it is over now. And, in its wake, it seems to have left an exceptionally sweet child whose capacity for playing by himself has doubled and whose behavior could not be better. Phew. I guess those kinds of developmental jumps are worth the painful week? I guess? I’m still not sure why they seem to be so pronounced with Owen, and only in retrospect do I see what caused all of that ridiculous fussing and terrible behavior.
Owen is super excited to be a big brother. He’ll often bring up things like, “I’m going to teach my baby brother to eat” or “I want to touch my baby brother’s toes” or “I’m going to bring him toys to hold” out of the blue. Recently this excitement has manifested itself as an obsession with babies.
He LOVES babies.
At school a few weeks ago, when the kids were still in their snowsuits, there was a little girl standing, stuck, crying on the playground. Owen’s teachers tell me they turned around and he was over next to her, patting her on the back and saying, “It’s ok. It’s ok.”. Sob.
And he’s always had a thing for hugging our friends’ babies (whether they liked it or not!).
When I arrived at school to pick Owen up on Friday, the mom of one of his friends was there with her newborn. The baby was crying in his stroller and as soon as he heard that little cry, Owen dropped his toy and came running from across the playground. He climbed up onto the stroller and started patting his foot, crooning, “S’ok. Why are you crying?” in this little sing-songy voice. He patted the baby’s head SO GENTLY (like, for real gently… which both amazed me and terrified me, because one can never tell when that gentle touch is going to turn not-so-gentle…) and dug the baby’s pacifier out of his blankets. Owen stuffed the paci in his mouth (backwards, but it didn’t seem to matter) while asking, “You want this?” over and over again.
I nearly cried. It was just about the sweetest thing. Thankfully the mother didn’t mind Owen’s little hands all over her baby (I wouldn’t have blamed her if she did!) and she praised him for being so gentle. I could barely tear Owen away to go home. He was in love.
Then, over the weekend we hung out with our friends who have a little guy who is about 15 months old. He toddled towards the parking lot (nowhere near the cars, but in that general direction) and Owen ran up to him and shouted, “Don’t walk! Cars won’t see you!” in an effort to keep him safe. Owen walked next to his little friend and put his arm around his shoulders. Buddies. Oh so sweet, until that arm-around-the-shoulders move made them both fall down, and Owen tried to pick him up by his head/neck. Clearly it came from a place of love and trying to help the kid up, but we have some lessons to learn about how to handle other kids. Gulp.
I’m beginning to see what kind of big brother Owen may be. Head over heels in love. Overly affectionate. Super gentle until he’s super NOT gentle. Protective.
We’ll have to watch him like a hawk.
Still, it makes my heart swell to watch him love on babies. I’ll have to remember this the next time I have to sign an incident report for him beating up a friend at school.